Two politicians who finished second in Tuesday's elections offered perspectives on their races in comments made Wednesday and today.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Dick Ross, who was reached after this newspaper's deadline Wednesday, said he was surprised at the county's low voter turnout (21.32 percent). He pointed out that the general election will be decided by a considerably larger number of voters.
Ross will square off with Crow Wing County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Klang, who out polled Ross 2,932-2,713 in Tuesday's election. A third candidate who pulled out of the race earlier, Keith Emerson, received 658 votes.
Ross said he knows candidates can't take anything for granted and said he'll campaign hard and do considerable door-knocking in the next six to seven weeks.
Politics may not be in the future of the other second-place finisher, Bemidji attorney Darrell Carter. Carter was defeated 61 percent to 39 percent by Breezy Point Mayor Carrie Ruud for the Republican nomination for Senate District 4.
Ruud now will face DFLer Stan Nagorski, a Crosby-Ironton School District teacher who was unopposed in Tuesday's primary.
Carter said today his defeat boiled down to scheduling, with his law practice preventing him from devoting as much time for personal campaigning as his opponent.
The attorney said he was surprised at Ruud's margin of victory but noted that she worked hard.
Carter was asked to describe the legislative campaign experience.
"In one word, grueling," he said. "There's a real up side, you meet a lot of people, but it takes a toll on you and your family."
Without ruling anything out, Carter said it's unlikely he'll pursue political office in the near future.
Senate District 3 DFLers chose Tom Saxhaug to run against Republican Aitkin Mayor J. Mark Wedel this November. The vote totals were Saxhaug, 4,713; Bill McLaughlin, 3,680; and W.D. "Bill" Hamm, 769. Wedel, running without opposition on the Republican side of the ballot, tallied 4,296 votes.
In the District 3B Minnesota House race, neither candidate had opposition. Catherine McLynn received 2,429 votes and Loren Solberg received 3,616 votes.
In House District 11B, Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie, will have two opponents, Republican Marlene Clark and Independence Party candidate Greg Brede. Their vote totals were Otremba, 1,689; Clark, 1,435; and Brede, 183.
The Senate District 11 race will pit Sen. Dallas Sams, DFL-Staples, against Republican George Cassell. Sams garnered 3,642 votes and Cassell had 3,465 votes.
U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., will face Republican Bob Lemen in the general election. Lemen defeated Warren L. Nelson 13,422-13,119 in the Republican primary. Oberstar, the longtime incumbent, had no opposition and had 50,569 votes.
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